Best Dog Food for Large Breeds | Top Picks for Puppies and Adults

Owning a large breed dog comes with many responsibilities, especially when it comes to providing them with the best nutrients. While all dogs pretty much have the same basic nutritional requirements, there is a reason why they have life stage-specific or breed-specific dog foods to ensure that the distinct requirements of your dog are met.

Picking the best dog food for large breeds is very important, as it plays a very crucial role in the health of your large dog. In this article, we will go into details about the specifics of large breed dogs.

We will also review some of the best dog food for large breed puppies and adults out there. Let’s get started with our most recommended products!

Our top pick is the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Dog Food. This is a grain-free formula that is formulated to provide large and giant breed dogs with a nutritionally balanced and complete diet. It supports healthy bones and joints, skin, coat, immune system, and lean muscle development.

The Best Dog Food for Large Breeds Are:

ProductDetails
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Chicken Recipe

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free
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2. Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • For healthy digestion
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3. Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy, pea-free
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4. Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy
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5. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed Weight Management Formula

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Weight control
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6. Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Adult Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free, gluten-free, no corn, no wheat, non-GMO
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7. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Puppy
  • Grain-free, puppy formula, gluten-free
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8. Purina ONE SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Puppy
  • For dogs with sensitivities and allergies
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9. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Dry Food
  • Puppies
  • For healthy digestion
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1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed Chicken Recipe — Best Dry Dog Food for Large Breeds

If your large breed dog is allergic to grains, then this grain-free formula from Blue Buffalo is one of the best options to consider. This is a delicious blend of nutrition and flavors, with high-quality protein sources.

The top five ingredients of this food are deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, tapioca starch, and menhaden fish meal. For large breed dogs, maintaining bone and joint health is very important.

This dog food is formulated to cater to the joint and bone health of your dog, as it comes with optimal levels of glucosamine and chondroitin — two recipes that support overall mobility in dogs.

It also comes with added nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus that help keep the bone strong and support healthy joint function. This formula is 100 percent grain-free, making it ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

It also contains L-carnitine to help promote lean muscle and carbs to help meet energy requirements. This food features an optimal balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to leave the skin and coat of your dog healthy and shiny. It contains chelated minerals, important antioxidants, and essential vitamins to support a healthy immune system.

Other notable ingredients in this food include peas starch, natural flavor, dried tomato pomace, chicken fat, and pea fiber. This food contains an impressive 32 percent protein, which is great for active and large breed dogs. The fat content of this food is 13 percent, while the maximum crude fat content is 7 percent. The calorie content of this food is 377 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free

Pros

  • Supports lean muscle
  • It contains glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints function and overall mobility
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Optimal balance of omega fatty acids

Cons

  • The fat content is a bit low

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2. Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food — Best Dog Food for Giant Breeds

The Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is one of the best dog food for large and giant breeds. This protein-rich formula has large kibble pieces that are easy for adult large breeds to pick and chew.

Large dog breeds require more than just a large amount of food to thrive, and this dog food from Eukanuba is formulated to provide your large and giant dog with all the nutrition it needs.

This food contains chondroitin and glucosamine, which come in very handy in the diet of a large dog, as it provides them with healthy and strong bones, joints, and hips. It also contains animal proteins, DHA, vitamin E, and optimal levels of carbs and fats for a balanced and complete diet that caters to the special needs of your large dog.

Furthermore, this food contains 3D DentaDefense, which helps to reduce the buildup of tartar for healthy gums and clean teeth. This food also contains natural fiber and prebiotics to support a healthy digestive system and keep your large breed feeling healthy and happy always.

The DHA and vitamin E content in this food supports healthy brain function in your large dog. The number one ingredient of this food is chicken, and it is free of some common food allergens.

This food also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals, which are great sources of essential vitamins and minerals. The minimum protein content of this food is 23 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 13 percent. This food has a maximum crude fat content of 3.9 percent while the caloric content is 331 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • For healthy digestion

Pros

  • It is inexpensive
  • Supports healthy joints, hips, and bones
  • DHA for healthy brain function
  • Optimal levels of carbs and fats

Cons

  • It contains grains

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3. Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food — Best Inexpensive Dog Food for Large Breeds

The Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food is another great dog food for large breed dogs. This food is enriched with naturally sourced glucosamine and chondroitin, which support healthy bones and joints of larger dogs.

It also contains rich sources of antioxidants, making it a great option for large dogs with specific needs. The optimal levels of antioxidants help in maintaining a strong and healthy immune system and also keeps the heart and mind active and sharp.

The first five ingredients of this food are chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, and rice bran. It is completely free from corn, soy, and wheat, with chicken as the number one protein source. The high-quality wholesome grains in this food provide your large breed with a premium quality diet to ensure great health.

It also contains lean animal proteins from sources such as salmon and pasture-fed lamb, which provide complementary and unique amino acids that work together to promote lean, strong muscles.

It also contains sunflower, which is rich in Linoleic acid to provide your dog with healthy skin and a shiny coat. This food does not contain any artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Nutro formulated this food to the life stage and health conditions of your dog. It is made with only natural ingredients that are easy for dogs to digest.

This food contains a minimum crude protein of 23 percent with a minimum crude fat of 12 percent. The maximum crude fiber content in this food is 4 percent with a calorie content of 346 kilocalories per cup. It is also enriched with omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and it contains plenty of healthy veggies and fruits.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy, pea-free

Pros

  • Naturally sourced glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Rich in omega fatty acids and linoleic acid
  • It helps to maintain a strong immune system
  • Easily digestible ingredients

Cons

  • It is not completely grain-free

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4. Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Dry Dog Food

If you are looking for the best food for large breeds and do not mind paying for a premium product, then this is one of the best options to consider. This dog food comes with the ingredients that most dog owners want for their dogs. The first five ingredients of this food are deboned chicken, deboned whitefish, chicken meal, oatmeal, and ground peas.

Other notable ingredients include ground brown rice, barley, tomato pomace, chicken fat, and salmon oil. As you may know by now, salmon meal and chicken fat are two great sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which help in providing your pet with a shiny coat and healthy skin.

This food also comes with the right amount of phosphorus, calcium, and other essential minerals that help large breed dogs maintain strong bones.

This unique formula from Wellness also keeps your pooch well-fed and in tip-top shape too. It contains four high-quality protein sources to maximize nutrient absorption and help your dog develop and maintain lean muscle that fights fat. It features mixed tocopherols that guard against eye disease.

This food is also an excellent choice for pet owners looking to maintain a healthy weight, as it features optimal protein levels and moderate fat. It also contains Yucca schidigera extracts, which helps reduce odor in stool. The crude protein content is 26 percent while the minimum crude fat content is 12 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 4 percent while the calorie content is 340 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • No corn, no wheat, no soy

Pros

  • Rich in omega fatty acids
  • Made in the United States
  • It contains antioxidant-rich veggies and fruits
  • High-quality protein sources

Cons

  • It may cause loose stool in some dogs.

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5. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed Weight Management Formula

Most pet owners and large breeds are pretty happy with the weight management formula from Purina. The Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Large Breed Weight Management Formula is one of the best dog food for large breeds.

It is also one of the most affordable options in the market. This food comes in a 34-pound bag for almost half the price of other top brands. This large breed dog food is formulated to cater to the specific health issues common to large breed dogs, including obesity and joint issues.

The first five ingredients of this food are chicken, brewer’s rice, whole grain wheat, poultry by-product meal (which serves as a natural source of glucosamine), and corn gluten meal. Other notable ingredients in this food include fish meal, barley, oatmeal, and pea fiber. The natural glucosamine and chondroitin in this food help to keep the bones and joints of your dog healthy and strong.

 This tasty kibble is packed full of protein from lean chicken and it has 15 percent less fat than Purina’s Pro Plan formula, making it a great option for less active large breeds. It contains omega 6 fatty acids and biotin for a beautiful shiny coat and healthy skin. It is highly nutritional, providing your dog with a 100 percent balanced and complete diet.

This food is made in the United States and it does not contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. The protein content of this food is 26 percent while the minimum fat content is 9 percent. It contains a maximum crude fiber of 5.5 percent with a caloric content of 374 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Weight control

Pros

  • Weight management
  • Rich in omega fatty acids and biotin
  • Less fat content
  • Made in the United States

Cons

  • Some dogs may not find the smell appealing

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6. Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Adult Recipe Dry Dog Food

This is another great dog food for large breed dogs, as it comes with high-quality, natural ingredients to provide your large dog with all the nutrients it needs. This antioxidant-rich dry dog food is recommended for large breed dogs over 50 pounds. You can feed it to a dog older than one year, as it caters to the nutritional needs of growing dogs.

The first five ingredients of this food are deboned turkey, whole dried egg, potatoes, peas, and potato flour. While deboned turkey is the number one protein source, this food also contains other protein sources such as salmon and duck to provide your large dog with the optimum protein it needs. It also contains other natural, premium ingredients that provide optimal nutrients to large dogs.

This food is rich in antioxidants from wholesome ingredients such as blackberries, spinach, cranberries, carrots, and pumpkin, and it serves as a great foundation for a healthy immune system. If your dog has allergies or intolerance for grains, you do not have to worry, as this food is completely free of grains and gluten.

It is also free from common allergens and fillers such as wheat, corn, and soy. This food is not artificially colored, flavored, or preserved. It contains omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat health.

The added prebiotics and probiotics aid in proper digestive health. The protein content of this food is 27 percent while the minimum fat content is 13 percent. The maximum crude fiber content is 3 percent with a caloric content of 363 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Adult
  • Grain-free, gluten-free, no corn, no wheat, non-GMO

Pros

  • Grain-free, gluten-free
  • Supports healthy skin and coat
  • Aid in proper digestive health
  • Supports a healthy immune system

Cons

  • It is expensive

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7. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food — Best Dog Food for Large Breed Puppies

Are you looking for the best dog food for large breed puppies? Search no more, as the High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food from Taste of the Wild is what you need. This dry dog food for large breed puppies is highly nutritional, as it contains all the basic nutrients your growing dog needs. It also contains highly digestible ingredients.

The first five ingredients of this food are buffalo, lamb meal, bison, pea protein, and egg protein. It also contains other rich protein sources such as roasted beef, bison, and venison for lean nutrition to support growth in puppies.

This is a completely grain-free formula with added vitamins and powerful antioxidants from real veggies and fruit to support overall health. It is also rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and a shiny coat.

All the ingredients used to make this food are from trusted and sustainable sources, and it does not contain any corn, filler, wheat, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, making it an ideal option for pups with sensitivities. It also comes with a proprietary K9 strain probiotic blend to help support the digestive system of your puppy.

This food is made in the United States and it is safe for your pet. The protein content of this food is 28 percent while the crude fat content is 17 percent. It contains a maximum fiber of 5 percent while the calorie content is 370 kcal/cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Puppy
  • Grain-free, puppy formula, gluten-free

Pros

  • High-quality protein sources
  • Supports strong muscles
  • Highly digestible ingredients
  • Ideal for pups with sensitive stomachs and allergies

Cons

  • It is not GMO-free

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8. Purina ONE SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food — Best Inexpensive Dog Food for Large Breed Puppies

 

The Purina ONE SmartBlend Large Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food is one of the best dog food for large breed puppies. This food contains natural sources of glucosamine, which are great for your large breed growing dog.

This formula is a great source of nutrition for large breed puppies, as it is made with the best quality ingredients. The first five ingredients of this food are chicken, rice, flour, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, and by-product meal.

Chicken is the primary protein source in this food, and it contains a wide range of ingredients to make up a great nutrient profile ideal for large breed puppies. This food also contains a blend of dual-defense antioxidants and other essential minerals and vitamins to support a strong immune system.

It is also formulated with DHA, a nutrient found in mother’s milk, for optimal vision and brain development. It contains easily digestible nutrition with rice for the delicate stomach of your pup. This food contains an impressive 28 percent protein with a fat content of 13 percent. The maximum crude fiber content of this food is 361 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Puppy
  • For dogs with sensitivities and allergies

Pros

  • Protein-rich
  • High-quality protein sources
  • Supports a healthy heart and builds strong muscles
  • Dual-defense antioxidants
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • It is not grain-free

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9. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food — Best Dry Dog Food for Large Breed Puppies

The last dog food for large breed puppies on our list is the Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food. This food is formulated carefully with natural DHA and moderate levels of calcium. It contains natural, premium ingredients, providing your puppy with a balanced and complete diet.

The first five ingredients of this food are lamb meal, brown rice, whole grain wheat, whole grain sorghum, and corn gluten meal. This food is formulated for puppies up to one year of age who will be over 55 pounds when they are an adult. The controlled calcium level in this food supports optimal bone growth for large breed puppies.

The natural DHA content in this food is from fish oil, and it helps to support healthy brain and eye development and learning ability. This food supports a healthy immune system, thanks to the blend of antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

The protein content of this food is 24.5 percent with a crude fat content of 12 percent. The maximum crude fiber content is 3 percent while the caloric content is 373 kilocalories per cup.

Specs

  • Dry Food
  • Puppies
  • For healthy digestion

Pros

  • Clinically proven antioxidants
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Precise nutrition supports healthy skin, coat, and stool

Cons

  • It does not contain glucosamine and chondroitin

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Things to Look for When Picking Dog Food for Your Large Breed

Regardless of the life stage of your large breed dog, whether adult, puppy or senior, there are certain things you need to consider when buying large breed dog food.

You need to make sure that the food you choose caters to the needs of your dog, providing it with all the nutrition needed to live a healthy and happy life.

Here are some vital things you need to consider when shopping for the best dog food for large breed dogs:

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

It is best for dog foods for large breeds to contain joints supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin. To address joint and bone health issues, it is ideal to opt for a dog food that contains these two supplements.

These supplements are often present in meat and poultry sources, and they work as building blocks of cartilage that protect the joints from aging wear and tear.

Calories

Because large breed dogs are larger in size, they need more calories. However, more does not mean too much.

As such, the food should contain a moderate level of calories and fulfill nutritional requirements. The calorie content should be enough for your dog to gain energy but not so much that it leads to obesity.

Larger Kibble

Large dogs need larger kibbles. This is not just because large breed dogs have bigger mouths, but also the larger the kibble, the more time it would require to chew it. This helps to reduce the pace at which your dog eats and also avoid bloating.

Good Protein Source

Protein is the building block of the whole formula. Your large breed dog requires high protein for building lean muscles and repairing tissues for a healthy body and overall well-being.

As such, your focus should be on high-quality protein sources such as chicken, duck, turkey, meat, lamb, venison, bison, beef, and salmon.

Based on the recommendation of the AAFCO, adult dogs need 18 percent of protein in their diets, while growing dogs require a minimum of 22 percent protein in their diets.

Hence, depending on the size of your large breed dog, you need to make sure that the food you choose exceeds their minimum protein requirements.

Fat

While large and giant breed dogs can eat plenty of proteins, you need to be very careful about their fat intake. Parenting large breed dogs comes with lots of responsibilities. As such, joint health issues and weight control should remain your priority.

Giant breeds have a slow metabolism, as such, they do not need too many calories per day. The best dog food for large and giant breeds are those that help your dog stay fit and maintain a healthy weight.

We recommend that you keep the fat intake of your pet moderate, which means you have to opt for dog foods with moderate fat content.

Fiber

Fiber is another vital aspect of a dog’s diet, as it plays a major role in their digestive system. The older a dog gets, the easier it is for the dog to suffer from constipation.

As such, the diet of your dog should contain great sources of fiber. Some great sources of fiber include kelp, pulp, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and oatmeal.

Antioxidants

Another thing you should look out for in the diet of your large breed dog is antioxidants. This is usually present in vegetables and fruits such as blueberries, kale, carrots, etc.

This means the food has to contain plenty of veggies and fruits. You also need to make sure the food contains an optimal amount of omega fatty acids to provide your dog with a shiny coat and healthy skin.

Conclusion

With the reviews and buyer’s guide in this article, you should no longer have difficulty in finding the best dog food for large breeds.

From the products reviewed in this guide, our clear winner is the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Large Breed because it is a completely grain-free formula that caters to the nutritional needs of large and giant breed dogs. It supports lean muscle development, as well as a healthy immune system, skin, and coat.

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